If you prick Jason Johnson’s arm, I’m pretty sure ink will come out of it. Same goes for me. Though much of what we do as the publishers of speedonthewater.com is digital, we were raised on print magazines. Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone and National Geographic taught me to read and inspired me to write. Same goes for Johnson, my longtime friend, fellow offshoreonly.com columnist and speedonthewater.com colleague.
Building a Year In Review magazine is a ton of work—but a labor of love. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Things change, and it would be a whopper to claim that print magazine circulation is trending upward. We were both sad to see Powerboat magazine, where we worked for years, go down the tubes with much of the print magazine world. But sadness and self-pity don’t pay the light bill. So 10 years ago we headed into the online realm of daily reporting, a weekly newsletter and a feature-based bi-monthly digital magazine.
Still, we missed print. When it comes to creative satisfaction, looking at your work on a screen doesn’t compare to holding it in your hands. And that’s why five years ago, we launched our first Speed On The Water Year In Review collectible print edition. As I’ve written before, the key to any year-in-review type of project is—go figure—knowing what happened that year. Our daily reporting on speedonthewater.com makes that chore far easier than it would be minus the news database, currently sitting at 6,625 articles, we have created.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. We started writing summaries for the 2019 Year In Review “Events” section more than nine months ago. Same goes for the Boats section, at least as it applies to those models released during the 2019 Miami International Boat Show. (That’s the reason we go to sometimes painful lengths to have photographer Pete Boden shoot boats for us on Friday morning before the show opens for its second day.)